Monday, June 5, 2017

New Report Shows Extent of Taypayer Funding of Brookings

A new study shows the extent that US taxpayers are helping fund the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution, a think tank that consistently collects more than $100 million a year in donations from corporations, foundations, and others.

Here is more from Capital Research Center:
Did you know you’re funding the well-heeled scholars at the Brookings Institution, a hoary D.C. think tank? A new report by, a database that tracks government grants, has uncovered millions of taxpayer dollars going to the Brookings Institution—and the findings are troubling.
Brookings was founded to be a government watchdog in Washington, D.C. Its motto is “Quality. Independence. Impact.” In reality, it has become the leading center-left think tank, and we’re all paying for it, to the tune of $19.5 million in public grants since 2008.
While there is no evidence that Brookings has violated the law, it’s certainly compromised its independence. OpenTheBooks CEO Andrew Andrezejewski puts it bluntly: “An organization loses all credibility to hold government accountable when the government becomes a donor.” Andrezejewski points to Brookings’ public policy studies as the most egregious example of its illusory independence. Brookings accepted $1.8 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for “humanitarian” causes. In 2016, Brookings published a white paper espousing the value of USAID public/private partnerships—without disclosing its obvious conflict of interest with the Agency.

Adam Andrzejewski, founder and CEO of (which conducted the study), says that Brookings "does not resemble a think tank, but a jukebox - add a little coin and Brookings will play your tune, if the price is right."  Here is more from Mr. Andrzejewski:
Since 2008, Brookings amassed nearly $20 million in contracts and grants from 50 agencies – including the Obama Administration’s Office of the President. Despite assets of $496 million (IRS990, FY2014), our audit shows it was not enough. Brookings instituted an aggressive strategy to pursue federal business over the past nine-years.

Among other things, Mr. Andrzejewski notes that when Brookings published a 2016 white paper touting the veracity of US Agency for International Development (USAID) public/private partnerships, it failed to disclose that USAID was a donor to Brookings.

US government agencies that have recently donated to Brookings include: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Central Command, US Department of Treasury, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Social Security Administration (SSA), USAID, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), US Department of the Navy, US Coast Guard, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), US Department of the Air Force, and the US Department of the Army.

More details (including raw data) about the US government funding of Brookings can be found here.

The reputation of Brookings (as well as other think tanks) was severely damaged last year after the New York Times exposed a number of pay-for-play schemes at think tanks.

To be sure, a number of think tanks receive money from the US government, including the RAND Corporation, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Atlantic Council, and many more.